Monday, August 18, 2014 share a poem

...about moving that a-young-girl-I-know-who-must-not-be-named wrote

2 August 2014

I wish I could convince myself
this was a temporary home;
an over-extended vacation,
a rental to be looked up on Google Chrome.

Our stay here will be a short one.
In no time we'll be returning to New York!
Where my little baby sister
was delivered by the stork.

Those dents in the walls weren't made by Audrey.
Those scuffs on the floor weren't caused by me...
Heck...Here (in our new home) we don't even need a mail key.

I don't want to grow up in Ann Arbor
to learn at Tappan School...

I want to Attend the Academy (Augustinian)
Fort Drum...That't where I want to be.

Permission to reprint this poem was granted by this observant and talented young writer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014 enjoy our new home

...and our new city...and our new surroundings.

But sometimes, even when we are surrounded by wonderful things in a wonderful place...

it's just hard.

It might not seem like a big deal, but tonight the three girls and I rode our bikes to the library after dinner.  (It's hard to ride 1.5 miles to return some books).  Only to find it closed.  (Hard.  Grr.  Of course it was closed.)  Poor Audrey fell off of her bicycle twice on the way back.  (Harder. Both times right in/next to the intersection.)  Bless that child's heart...she is such a champ.  She didn't even cry.

Tomorrow we'll find another branch.  (Hard.  Look up new directions, check the hours.)  and try to convince Will to go with us while Mark is at school tomorrow.  (Hardest.  That child is a homebody).

I certainly can appreciate all the perks we have had for this move:
1.  Close to family.
2.  Close to Mark's office.
3.  Close to the kids' schools.
4.  Walking/bike riding distance to most everything we need...
5.  Did I mention how nice it will be to be close to our families?

But there are so many things I am missing from our military life...

1.  Meghan.
2.  Amy
3.  The freedom my children had to wander around the neighborhood (and their friends).
4.  A backyard to let Timber out.
5.  Parking in the driveway.  Oh...yes...and driving everywhere we needed to go!
6.  My job.
7.  The ice cream man.  (Friends at FD can you believe I even said that?)
8.  My familiar running routes.
9.  My routine.
10.  Did I mention how much I miss my friends?

I know Ann Arbor will be as hard to leave (Mark says maybe even harder?) as Fort Drum was.  And I know in just a year we will love it here.  I am sure we'll have a new routine, a few new friends, and living near family will be even more appreciated...

but in the meantime there might be days when the kids' and I might feel sad and stressed about learning to live this new and yes somewhat exciting life here in Ann Arbor....

and that's okay too.

Tomorrow will be better.

And perhaps if we are lucky...a little less hard.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

...a normal day

...but perhaps that's a little too much to expect after being in our home (with all of our things) for less than a week?

We did enjoy a little bit of our new normal...

1.  Coffee on the porch.
2.  Breakfast as a family at the (cleaned off) dining room table.
3.  Several walks (now four-a-day) with Timber

But we are still striving putting on the finishing touches...meaning I continue creating projects to make this space our own...

Case in point:  Mark (completely unsolicited by me) came home from the local junkyard with a pile of this wood for me ($5 for all of it)!

Huge brownie points for him!!!

A little bit of work was required....

 And now we have this...

And a several other large pieces that have been turned into stools for our fire pit and two big outdoor tables.  

I'll share more photos later...

Stay tuned.  As there are less and less big projects to attend to, I'll be more and more likely to be able to photograph the rooms' transformations.

Monday, August 4, 2014 start to blog again

...which means it's the first evening in two weeks that I have been able to sit down with my computer in the evening.

We have moved into our first home.

The kids are over-the-moon about our place.

Mark is equally enamored.

As for me...I see lots of little projects on my horizon and I love those!!

Since we began this move two weeks ago I have been on a little hiatus from the internet world.  Slowly over the past few days I've started taking photos again, I've started posting on Instagram again, and this evening it was time to start blogging and answering emails.

I just needed a little break.


It's supposed to be a toy room.
Where's Audrey?  Extra points if you can spot her in the photo above!

And this:

We are supposed to be able to sleep here tonight.

Where did all this blankety-blank-blank stuff come from?  Who buys 14 boxes of Kleenex?  Surely the movers unpacked someone else's things on my bed?

Tomorrow I'll be focused again.

And I'll begin to share more photos of the real progress we have been making.

Soon...this place it going to feel like home.

Monday, July 21, 2014 begin the first day

...of our move.

SPOILER ALERT:  I videotaped thirty-seconds of Audrey having a fit this morning.  Replay this video sixty-five times and you will have an idea of how the movers felt this morning.  Please do not watch if screaming and crying give you a queasy stomach.  

Audrey sums up my feelings of our day perfectly with this performance:

As you might guess the first day of the pack out did-not-go-so-well.  In fact I anticipate this performance is a preview of what I may sound like tomorrow afternoon.

You know how the saying goes:

 "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Sunday, July 20, 2014 enjoy the baptism

...of our godson

As you can see it was a very solemn event...

But precious nonetheless...

I love this photo of the proud parents...

The boys were very cooperative "Batman(s)" in their photo op.

The crew finally settled down...

For the baptism.

Can I get a collective "aww...isn't he precious?"

Afterward...we enjoyed the most GENIUS idea!  A Tin Pan Galley picnic on the Sackets Harbor Battlefield.

Oh.  Yum.

No waiting in line.  No fidgeting kids at the tables.  But perfectly delicious food and beautiful sights.

Sailboat in the harbor
Isabella taking a walk.
unscripted GQ poses
Daddy Daughter #1
Lil' C. 
Paddy playing catch with Will
"Catch me if you can!"
What a beautiful day for our families' to celebrate Declan's baptism!  

So many memories were made.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 enjoy the last day

...with the Amy and the LaCrow kids (as they were dubbed by the staff at Augustinian).

What a day we had!

Lunch at Panera.

A trip to the Thompson Park Zoo.

And an evening dinner together.

A day gathering a few more memories of this crew spending time together.

They've sure grown up together over these past three years.  They've endured car pools and wine nights, sleepovers and swimming time, ice cream parlor trips and zoo adventures, and of course deployments. 

Can you believe how small they once were?  

Drive-In Movie
Soccer game
Isabella's birthday party
They sure have grown.

So.  Big.

Over the years we have had many fun adventures...

White water rafting 
But what sticks in my mind most are the simple times.  The soccer games.  Pedicures.  The sitting on the bench at the park.  Our weekly lunch dates.  The morning scheduling debriefs (e.g., Who's driving where?  Where are we meeting for lunch? etc...) at the bus-stop.  Wine nights.  

I am going to miss these every day things the most.

Our last 'fun day' at Fort Drum was memorable.

It was so great to see the kids get so excited about little things today...

Feeding time for the rattlesnakes
An impromptu zoology class...

And slurpees...

We all enjoyed a great day together.

While it breaks my heart these two won't be in class together next year...

And that Amy won't be around to cuddle with my little girls...

And it is just. so. hard. to say goodbye...

I know these two families have a very special lifelong bond.  I love you all.  And I'll miss you so.